Good morning Democrats,
By now, most of you are sipping some coffee, checking tweets and blogs and making your way over to the State Convention. I thought I’d offer my 2 cents (well, 4 cents) on the biggest decision of the day: the first-ballot endorsement for US Senator.
We, as Democrats, tend to be the goody-two-shoes sort. We were the students who gave the teacher the apple, the people who helped the old lady cross the street… and the type of person who would never do something like knock someone off the ballot.
Well, I’m here to tell you that today is the day we need to make a teeny, tiny exception to our aww-shucks nice-guy routine. We need to bid Marisa DeFranco adieu.
Here’s why: Marisa DeFranco is not a grassroots candidate and is not adding anything to the primary.
This contrasts strongly with Elizabeth Warren, who’s electrified the grassroots faster than any candidate in memory, and who’s put issues in the realm of public discussion that haven’t been there for decades. Things like what kind of a country do we want to be: one that works for all of us, or one that just works for the richest 1%? It’s little wonder that people are responding.
DeFranco’s campaign — by her own words — has only 40 volunteers and has raised only $40,000. Most of that money went to a paid signature effort, the same means of obtaining statewide ballot access that the bigots use to force inequality on us, the rabid-right uses to push crappy laws (hi, Carla Howell and Barbara Anderson!) and that corporations use to gain even more favorable laws and special perks.
It’s a disgrace to the democratic process, yet DeFranco’s not only made that the staple of her campaign, but has the gumption to try to claim grassroots cred.
Simply put, she’s going no where. Now, normally it wouldn’t bother me that a vanity candidate would want his or her name on the ballot, but there are actual things at stake here.
This isn’t 2006. DeFranco’s not adding anything to this race, like the Patrick-Reilly-Gabrieli slugfest was able to do, by focusing all the free publicity onto the Democratic campaign. DeFranco’s only headlines come when she parrots Scott Brown lines, and only because the media likes distractions.
Well, we have a chance to end that… today… by sucking it up and telling the purported US Senate candidate running a Lynn City Council sized campaign that she’s not entitled to be on the ballot just by showing up.
We need to be telling the public we’re wholly focused on making sure the Sheriff of Wall Street candidate defeats Wall Street’s best friend. This race is all about Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown, so let’s all be clear about that today, and make sure our first-ballot vote for US Senate is as close to unanimous as possible.
To that other candidate? It’s been nice, but “so long, and thanks for all the fish.”
It does feel unseemly somehow to try to force someone off the ballot when you consider yourself a democrat (small d). However, she’s not a candidate with the slightest chance of winning. (And I’m not sure anyone quoted in the NY Times as saying her dad thinks she’s too smart to be in the U.S. Senate is a serious candidate, period.) Has she released her tax returns yet? How come she couldn’t even get a full slate of delegates to run in the Framingham caucuses? How can you be a serious candidate if you can’t properly contest a town like Framingham?
I don’t think the primary process should be put in motion to allow vanity candidates to raise $40,000 so they can get statewide – and in this case national – attention worth orders of magnitude more money, for whatever message they and 40 friends/volunteers want to draw attention to. I appreciate that she jumped into the race before there was a clear favorite. Please, Democratic delegates, let our candidate for US Senate focus like a laser on defeating Scott Brown. A 3-month sideshow 5 months before the election is not what we need in a race that’s now even. Thanks.
Marisa DeFranco disqualified herself by her responses to media inquiries about the silly “heritage” kerkuffle. I tried valiantly to separate my reaction to the candidate from my reaction to her supporters here, and failed. One reason is that I find it impossible to differentiate her supporters/defenders from Scott Brown trolls — this reflects badly on both Scott Brown and Marisa Defranco.
I do NOT hear anything from Ms. DeFranco that helps me understand any motivation besides personal vanity for her to remain in this race. There is no material issue where Ms. DeFranco is a better candidate — at best, her posture seems to be that Ms. DeFranco is too centrist. That is a losing strategy against Scott Brown. In fact, I do not hear anything from Ms. DeFranco AT ALL.
Had Marisa DeFranco joined the serious Democratic Party contenders in graciously stepping aside months ago, she could have been a rising star for future elections. Her decision to instead carry this to the bitter end demonstrates that she is not only unsuited for this campaign, but for ANY statewide office.
The candidacy of Marisa DeFranco should not survive this convention.
Actually, I’m a mole for Mike Huckabee.
You and Ryan may be right in your analyses. I’ve backed off a-plenty in my active support of the MDF campaign over the past few months for similar reasons; I have a history of supporting candidates noble of purpose but without the foundation for a serious campaign, and I no longer have the time to spend on crusades like those. I’m not going to stamp my feet and cry foul if MDF doesn’t get her 15%; the Convention isn’t rigged, and if she doesn’t, the fault lies squarely with her and her supporters.
Like I’ve said, ad nauseum, I suppose, I wanted, and still want, issues that are not being discussed brought up. I get the sense that ain’t going to happen even if MDF does get on the ballot. So it goes; I’ll look to other races and other candidates for the same. But this rankles: “One reason is that I find it impossible to differentiate her supporters/defenders from Scott Brown trolls.”
If you can’t distinguish between those who are deliberately trying to sabotage the Party’s chances to unseat Brown, and those who, rightly or wrongly, sincerely believe that single-payer, Iran, climate change, and military spending are genuine substantive issues, then I’d suggest that the problem isn’t with DeFranco.
This is one of the best sites on the entire web, and this MA transplant learns more about more subjects here than I do anywhere. I’m happy to be be a donor, and I’d like to be able to donate more, both in terms of dollars and useful posts. But the endless stream of insults directed at MDF supporters–from naive butterfly chasers to trolls to thin-skinned disciples–is not only horseshit, but a total turn-off. If you want an echo chamber, you’re well on your way. For that, I can hang out on GreenMassGroup.
But I’ll add to that: up until quite recently, I’d planned to cheerfully work on behalf on whomever wins the nomination, whether it happens today or in September. Not any more. Not because of Ms Warren herself, and certainly not because I want her or her supporters punished. I want her to win. But tell me why on earth I’d want to work hand in hand with people who regularly use these pages, not to instruct me as to how wrong MDF is on positions and strategy, but on how just f’ing stupid those of us who respect her progressive views and willingness to champion them are? A gazillion dollars, incredible grassroots support, unaninmous endorsements across the board from organizations and respectable party leaders–and that’s not enough?; you still need to spend all this ink telling MDF supporters what dumb-asses we are? You think THAT’S going to help you come November?
BTW, if MDF supporters are [insert preferred insult here], what’s YOUR label for those who support candidates who support wasteful for-profit healthcare over single-payer, decry Palestinian efforts to obtain membership in the UN, oppose closing any overseas bases, state in direct contrast to all intelligence reports that “Iran is a significant threat to the United States and our allies. Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons”, doesn’t support “The Peoples’ Budget amendment,” doesn’t support Congressman’s Franks’ call for a 25% reduction inmilitary spending, doesn’t support an amendment overtuning Citiznes United, accepts money from some VERY dubious PACs, does not supprt IRV, supports locking up marijuana traders, does not oppose fracking … and who call said candidate a “progressive hero?”
You can, admittedly, call them “winners.” I have some other choice words, but I have refused to stoop to the levels Warren’s gang of cheerleaders have on here.
I’m pretty sure you know I didn’t have you in mind when I talked about trolls.
At the same time, rants like this are pretty much what I mean. I’m reminded of the passion of Ralph Nader supporters in 2000. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, this view ends up making the perfect become the enemy of the good (where, in this case, each is arguable).
No matter how we might feel about the issues you cite (and I suspect we agree on most), Marisa DeFranco couldn’t get the job done even if she WERE to be elected, and she won’t be elected. She couldn’t get the job done because NO freshman senator can accomplish this. She couldn’t get the job done because she’s demonstrated that she lacks the political chops needed to accomplish change like this. Good grief, she actually whined about the media asking too many heritage questions!
I agree that Elizabeth Warren presents a more limited agenda for this campaign. I like that. I would rather see a candidate who has a realistic opportunity to (a) defeat Scott Brown, (b) stop the Tea Party thugs, and (c) slow down the Wall Street steamroller. That’s enough for me. Elizabeth Warren can do those things. Marisa DeFranco, even if elected, can not.
The sincere, passionate, and idealistic support of Ralph Nader in 2000 caused Al Gore to lose and George W. Bush to win. It just did. I’m sorry that our political world works that way, but that is the reality we all have to live with.
One way or another, the candidacy of Marisa DeFranco should end this weekend.
… so this could be my MDF swan song.
OK. I can accept pretty much everything you say above. Unhappily, but, yes. Right about the freshman senator thing–made that point myself.
I voted for Nader (because I could–would not have elsewhere). And I like to think I’ve learned from my mistakes. And I parrot the perfect being the enemy of the good line myself–it’s true. I still don’t agree that a primary would be as destructive as folks fear–not nearly. If MDF continued with a full-frontal assault on non-issues–and her more recent remarks in various interviews, where she eschewed any attacks even when invited, suggests she would not–she’s lose whatever support she had.
They’re voting as I write (and it ain’t looking good). If Warren wins it all today, I’ll be all over my other pages congratulating her and making her case. But if Marisa stays in, please, at least, reply in kind to the obvious trolls who are making MY life a hell of a lot more difficult than yours (!); rip MDF’s campaign tactics whefre necessary, challenge her positions as unrealistic or untenable even where you agree–I get that–but let’s at least try not to damn each other as utter fools.
On my part, I’ll continue to base any ongoing support for Marisa on her taking the high road. If a “primary” turns out to be squabbling about campaign strategies and personalities, I’m outta there. If it becomes a crusade to talk about single payer etc–which won’t hurt the frontrunner and which which I using to draw people into the Party–I’ll stay onboard.
Sorry for taking things personally above; I understand that it’s really about business, but it got to be a bit much past couple of weeks.
No need for any apologies, and I appreciate your graciousness.
I look forward to your commentary, always have, and never meant to suggest anything to the contrary. The trolls know full well who I mean, and you’re not one of them.
77 percent of voters have never heard of MDF. No worries.
do you think it impossible that there will be money from, oh, some non-progressive source helping increase her visibility and cause an increased distraction for the Warren campaign?
What I’m learning on BMG:
Got a call into David Koch. Just waiting for the mountains of evil money to start flowing in.
What I’ve learned following these threads:
1. The entire Convention is a conspiracy–it’s been rigged by the DC power elite to deprive the people of their inherent right to vote for the candidate they prefer, even if most have never even heard of her;
2. The entire DeFranco campaign is a conspiracy, engineered by the Brown forces and about to be funded by ALEC so as to play havoc with the high-minded Warren camapign.
My only remaining question: why have neither the Warren or DeFranco supporters, both of whom seem so set on discovering vast nefarious sinister networks at play, tied their rivals to the Bilderbergers, Trilateral Commission, and Illuminati?
is in opportunities to attack Warren. With only 23 percent name recognition among voters, you have to admit, these qualities do not make for a credible candidate.
I don’t think DeFranco is tied in to any of those financial sources. But in the Citizens United world we live in, I believe that money would indeed appear, invited or otherwise. You can call me paranoid for that, but I consider myself a realist. How would it not be tempting for some SuperPAC to tie up as much of Warren’s resources and attention as possible on 2 fronts, not just one?
IMO the biggest problem that needs to be fixed is the poison of big money in our political system. A lot of other problems could be taken care of, including our utterly irrational health insurance system, if that got fixed. I think Elizabeth Warren is my best shot by a huge margin to effectively carry that fight to Washington. I know that some people support a candidate based on a list of important issues they support and not who’s got the most realistic shot at moving things in a better direction, if more slowly, but I think this has ultimately not served progressives well. I realize reasonable people can disagree on that, but it’s something I feel just as strongly about as those who support candidates like Nader because they want some issues to be discussed that otherwise wouldn’t be. I understand that people get frustrated by Democratic candidates who don’t stand up for Democratic ideals, but Elizabeth Warren does. She really is worth supporting.